Former NFL star O.J. Simspon was granted parole on Thursday at a hearing at the Nevada Board of Parole in Lovelock, Nevada. Simpson was sentenced to nine to 33 years in prison on October 3, 2008 for armed robbery committed on September 13, 2007 in Las Vegas. In an odd twist, Simpson was sentenced exactly 13 years after he was acquitted of the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman. Despite being acquitted of murder, Simpson was later found to have been legally responsible for the deaths of Brown and Goldman in a civil suit in 1997, and was ordered to pay $25 million to Brown and Goldman's families. This was Simpson's first parole hearing. He will be released in October.
BREAKING: Nevada parole board grants O.J. Simpson early release from prison. pic.twitter.com/U043r71XAG— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) July 20, 2017
In a standard parole hearing, Simpson answered questions about his arrest history and criminal past, and made a joke when the parole board commissioner accidentally referred to him as a 90-year-old. (Simpson recently turned 70.) He was deemed to be a "low risk" to reoffend due to his age at his first arrest, lack of gang affiliation, as well as his behavior in prison.
During his hearing, Simpson said that he'd never before been accused of pulling a weapon on someone, and he also said he's lived a "conflict-free life." He also detailed his faith life.
Midway through the hearing, Simpson's demeanor changed, and he appeared agitated and angry, in contrast to his happier persona earlier.
Simpson said that he hopes to spend more time with his children. His eldest daughter, Arnelle Simpson, spoke at the hearing. If granted parole, Simpson said that he hoped to move to Florida. He also said that he may get involved in media if he were to be released.
Bruce Fromong, one of Simpson's robbery victims, testified that Simpson never held a gun to him during the robbery, and that Simpson "never laid a hand" on him. Fromong also said that he forgave Simpson for the robbery, and that he believes that he has been a "model inmate."
Interest in the O.J. Simpson murder trial was rekindled in 2016, when the FX miniseries "American Crime: The People v. O.J. Simpson" became a smash hit and won nine Emmy awards. ESPN followed shortly with "O.J.: Made In America," a three-part, seven-hour documentary about Simpson's life and the murder trial.
Many news and sports channels aired Simpson's parole hearing live, in what was an odd parallel to his infamous low-speed chase on the Los Angeles freeway in a white Ford Bronco on June 17, 1994. The chase, which was broadcast live on television, was watched by about 95 million people before Simpson surrendered to police at his home in Brentwood.